In a generous act, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan helped Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) 'official' cobbler R Bhaskaran with Rs 25,000 as millions of Indians struggle to make ends meet in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Pathan, 35, came to know about the plight of Bhaskaran after reading an article in ESPNcricinfo. Bhaskaran reportedly sits on Wallajah Road in Chennai since 1993 and he has been CSK's cobbler for the last 12 years.
"I got Rs 1,000 per match and CSK players took good care of me. At the end of the season, players and coaches would pool in and hand it over to me. Last year, I got around Rs 25,000, apart from what Dhoni gave me separately.
"Last week Irfan Pathan sent some money (Rs 25,000). I bought groceries for the family. Since there was no work, I had borrowed money and have to pay it back. I don’t know how I will survive. If cricket doesn’t return soon, I will be gone," Bhaskaran was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
This is approximately the same amount of money that Bhaskaran makes during an Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik took to twitter to appreciate Pathan's effort.
"Special stuff @IrfanPathan Well done and to many more such small deeds of generosity from everyone," Karthik wrote.
Special stuff @IrfanPathan . Well done and to many more such small deeds of generosity from everyone. Sweet of you @RaunakRK to bring up to light such positive stuff as well during these grim times https://t.co/YFq1KJliIL— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 15, 2020
He, along with elder brother Yusuf, has been donating masks, food packets and Vitamin C tablets to help fellow Indians fight coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, Pathan said India need better preparations to win ICC tournaments. India last won an ICC tournament in 2013, when they lifted the Champions Trophy under the leadership of iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"We need to make sure that we have better planning going into the ICC trophies, going into the World Cup. If we have better planning, we have all the resources to be a champion," Pathan, a member of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning Indian team, said on Star Sports show' Cricket Connected'.
Pathan added that India struggled to get a proper playing XI before the ODI World Cup last year as the team made a semifinal exit, losing to New Zealand.
"The only thing lacking is that we did not have a number four batsman just before the World Cup as well. We were struggling with having a proper eleven," Pathan said.
"If you look at the recent 2019 tournament, it was bad planning. We have resources, we have players, we have fitness, we have everything to be a world champion," added Pathan, who played 120 ODIs and 29 Tests.